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Mayor's Office Heading City Letter Head

January 4, 2001

For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Kent Morgan, City-County Planning Dept., 441-7491

Ambulance Service Meeting Response Time Goals
Billing and collection issues also addressed

Mayor Don Wesely and Fire Chief Mike Spadt today announced that the cityís ambulance service is meeting the city goal of responding to life-threatening emergencies within the city in eight minutes or less 90 percent of the time. The percentage reached a high of 94.4 percent in October. Lincoln Fire and Rescue assumed all ambulance service for Lincoln and Lancaster County on January 1, 2001.

"The Fire Department has continued to make great progress over the past 11 months when it assumed the responsibility for ambulance service." said Mayor Wesely. "The professionals responding to ambulance calls are providing the consistent quality service this community expects."

EMS Inc. provides the independent medical oversight of ambulance service for the city and continues to monitor the Fire Departmentís ambulance response times. The goal used by Lincoln is the same goal used by many communities throughout the nation to evaluate the performance of ambulance providers.

Spadt said the Fire Department has addressed all the data and billing issues as well as all the recommendations that were outlined in the independent report on the ambulance service conducted in July. Billing practices have been streamlined with all billing now occurring within 7 days of service. The city has selected a collection agency, Allied, Inc., which will pursue the unpaid accounts.

Finance Director Don Herz said the Ambulance Enterprise Fund is stable with collection rates in line with projections at 73 percent and the volume of calls meeting and exceeding projections.

"The transition of ambulance service to the Fire Department has been a cooperative effort with the hospitals, physicians, Lancaster County Medical Society and EMS Inc.," said Spadt. "By working together, we are providing our citizens with the best emergency care possible."

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